How hospital pharmacists can help prevent flu deaths


hospital pharmacist medication chart

Pharmacist charting is effective in increasing rates of influenza vaccination among hospitalised patients, according to new Australian research

In a study conducted at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, a pharmacist and medical officer partnered up to deliver an early medication review and charting on admission.

There were 6595 patients included in the study, of which 316 had partnered pharmacist charting.

Of these, 52 patients were eligible for vaccination, of which 31 (59.6%) had their influenza vaccination charted by a pharmacist.

The remaining 21 patients refused to have their vaccine while an inpatient.

Meanwhile among the 6279 patients who had their medication charted by a medical officer only, there were zero cases of influenza vaccination prescription (p < 0.01).

The results show that pharmacist charting is feasible and can have a “modest” effect in increasing vaccination rates among high-risk patients, say the authors from Alfred Health and Monash University.

Patients admitted to the general medical units and emergency short stay units of the hospital are often elderly with multiple comorbidities, and the majority are considered to be at high risk of complications from influenza.

“Elderly patients, especially those with chronic medical conditions, account for approximately 90% of all influenza-related deaths,” say the researchers.

They add that the study results “compare favourably to other intervention strategies such as a home visit with an offer of influenza vaccination, a reminder postcard or letter, or facilitators working with physicians and other healthcare workers in practice.”

The article was published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. See the full article here

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